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Treasury announces tax-free holiday for hurricane season buys

The list of tax-free items includes a variety of goods useful for emergency preparedness.

Puerto Rico residents will benefit from a tax-free holiday at the end of this month to prepare for the hurricane season.

The government has designated May 24-26 as the period when specific items will be exempt from the island’s sales and use tax (known as IVU in Spanish). The exemption starts at 12 a.m. on May 24 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 26.

Acting Puerto Rico Treasury Secretary Nelson J. Pérez-Méndez emphasized the importance of preparation, urging residents to use past experiences to ready themselves for potential weather events.

The tax exemption includes the following hurricane readiness items:

  • Containers, tanks and cisterns for fuel and water, and maintenance equipment.
  • Storm windows.
  • Hardware items such as anchors and screws.
  • Wood planks and untreated panels.
  • Ropes and moorings.
  • Construction zinc panels.
  • Non-perishable foods, including emergency meal kits.
  • Water.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing products.
  • Parts and products for the repair and maintenance of generators and emergency solar equipment.

Additionally, certain preparatory equipment will also be exempt from the IVU, including:

  • Portable generators priced up to $3,000.
  • Individual batteries or packs (AAA, AA, C cell, D cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt).
  • Battery or alternative energy operated lamps, flashlights, candles and matches.
  • Emergency solar equipment.
  • Tools such as drills, circular saws, hammers and other equipment related to securing property such as tree and branch cutting tools, screws, washers, nails, metal tensioners, cables, both manual and motorized saws, shovels, augers, gloves, safety glasses, helmets, safety pants, and any chains, files or mechanical parts needed to repair or operate the mentioned equipment. Tool combos and batteries will also be exempt.
  • Gas stoves and burners, excluding grills and barbecues.
  • Gas in cylinders and tanks.
  • Emergency or rescue ladders.
  • Hurricane shutters.
  • Axes and machetes
  • Non-electric can openers.
  • Portable coolers.
  • Fire extinguishers.
  • Battery-operated smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.
  • First aid kits.
  • Ground anchor systems or kits.
  • Reusable or artificial freezing products.
  • Mobile phone batteries and chargers.
  • Portable, two-way and weather band radios.
  • Fans operated with batteries or alternative energy.
  • Tarps or other flexible, waterproof materials.

Purchases made under layaway plans, rain checks or through mail, telephone, email or the internet, and gift certificates are eligible for the IVU exemption if transacted within the designated period, according to the agency.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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